by Pat Hessman
[This is a guest post by Bozeman columnist Pat Hessman, who also writes a satirical culture column called The Sugarbeet (because Onions make your breath smell) for The Exponent.--Cowgirl]
In a shocking move, a bill imposing segregation on non-native Montana residents fast-tracked its way through the Montana Legislature last week. The bill enacts sweeping legal changes, including separate restrooms, drinking fountains and the imposition that out-of-staters, referred to in the bill as “Outies,” must submit themselves to four years of indentured servitude on cattle ranches to gain residency.
House Bill 76, proposed by Rep. James Crow, R-Justus Township, passed on a party-line vote on Tuesday. Crow, prior to seeking public office, headed the Keep Montana Montanan Foundation. In a press conference held after the bill was passed, Crow proudly announced, “These Outies won’t pollute our state any longer with their non-Montanan ways!”
The new mandates of the bill include separation of all public facilities into Montanan and Non-Montanan sections, including restaurants, movie theaters and outdoor event porta-potties. A statute aimed at the state’s public schools mandate that if more than 20 Non-Montanan students live in a school district, a separate school must be constructed to “contain them.” In addition, voting rights have been restricted to native-born, fourth-generation Montanans only, a move that Rep. Crow claims will purify Montanan politics of “subhuman influence.”
Opposition has already risen to HB-76. A united coalition of West Coast students marching through the streets of Helena singing “California Gurls” met a swift, painful fire-hosing at the request of Rep. Crow. As a direct protest of the bus regulations, Maryland-born student Mary Rossiu refused to give up her seat on the Streamline Bus service to an intoxicated Montanan despite drunken commands she go back, “Whar ya come from.”
Despite the controversy, Rep. Crow stands by the new law, claiming, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”
EDITOR’S NOTE: At the time of press, evidence arose that Rep. James Crow’s mother was actually born in South Dakota. Due to the parameters of the new law, he now is required to sit at the back of the House chamber.